Live Sync FAQ for Live Mesh users (it lives!)

On Friday, we received a nice tip from Robert McLaws about a post on the Live Mesh MSDN blog (which hadn’t had an update since last October), entitled “Windows Live Sync beta: FAQ if you used Live Mesh beta or the previous version of Sync”.  We were planning on going through the FAQ step by step and make some comments (which we still plan on doing), but when we went to pull up the post, *poof* it was gone.

Well, this is the internet.  Things don’t just disappear.  A quick Bing search found a nicely preserved copy on a blog called MSDN Blog Postings via RSS, which we’ll reproduce here:

Windows Live Sync beta:
FAQ if you used Live Mesh beta or the previous version of Sync

A new Sync beta will be available for download in the coming weeks. For information about the beta, please see the product overview. You can also get instructions for switching to the new version of Sync here – but we recommend reading the FAQ first.

(LiveSide edit: List of questions at the top removed for space )

Q: Why is Live Mesh beta being replaced by Sync?

A: We heard from customers that they were confused by Microsoft having two products with similar features. In response to their feedback, we announced at PDC 2008 that Live Mesh would be integrated into Windows Live. Since then, we have been focusing our efforts on a single product and working hard to get Live Mesh technology into Windows Live and ready to serve millions of customers.

Q: How is the new Sync different from Live Mesh beta?

A: The new Windows Live Sync will be the first version of Sync to include Live Mesh technology. However, there are some differences between the new Sync and Live Mesh beta, including:

  • Faster remote desktop with zoom
  • Improved peer-to-peer (P2P) file synchronization
  • A new web interface integrated with rest of Windows Live
  • Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office program settings can be synced across PCs
  • Simplified user interface
  • 2 GB of online storage for synced folders
  • Support for only Windows 7, Windows Vista with SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, and Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard and later

Q: What happened to the Live Desktop and device view in Live Mesh?

A: We heard from customers that they liked these features, but wanted them to be integrated with other web services that they used frequently. As a result, we created a web service (devices.live.com) that is integrated into the other Windows Live services and has a similar look and feel. You can use Devices to connect to a PC remotely, browse folders that are synced online, and see information about your computers that are online. Over time, we hope to make Windows Live services available across more devices.

Q: What happened to integration of Live Mesh into Windows Explorer (e.g. blue folders, context menus)?

A: In this release, we have focused on making it easy to setup and manage syncing within the Sync application. We understand that some users would like to manage sync settings from elsewhere. This is something we would consider for a future release.

Q: Why can’t I sync folders on my mobile device?

A: With this release of Windows Live Sync, we focused on syncing folders between computers. In the future, we’ll explore adding support for other devices including mobile phones.

Q: Why is there less online storage for Sync than there was in the Live Mesh beta?

A: We made this compromise to reach as many people as possible with a free service. We learned from the Live Mesh beta that most people used much less than 2 GB of online storage.

If you used more, here are two options to consider:

  • If you need to share and collaborate on folders with a lot of people, use Windows Live SkyDrive. SkyDrive has 25 GB of storage space and lots of sharing options. You can even edit Office documents at the same time and track versions.
  • If you synced lots of photos or personal videos on your Live Mesh online storage, sync them between computers only. With the new Sync beta, you can sync pretty much as many files as you want between computers.


Q: Why isn’t the Sync beta supported on Windows XP or Windows Home Server?

A: Given the growing popularity of Windows 7, we made the decision to invest our resources in building the latest version of Windows Live Essentials – including the new Sync – to enhance the Windows 7 experience. The newest generation of Windows Live Essentials includes innovative technology, including HD video file formats that aren’t supported on older operating systems such as Windows XP. As such, we made the difficult decision not to make this version of Windows Live available for Windows XP.For Windows Home Server users, the new Sync will work with the new version of Windows Home Server (code name “Vail”) – currently in preview.

Q: How is the Sync beta different from the last version of Sync (previously known as FolderShare)?

A: Here are just some of the differences:

  • Folders can be synced on online storage for access even when computers are offline
  • Remote connection functionality replaces web-based browsing of folders on connected PCs
  • Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office program settings can be synced across PCs
  • More files (100k) are supported per Sync folder and more Sync folders are supported (200)
  • Even larger files (up to 50 GB) can be synced
  • The location of synced folders is automatically selected so folders can be synced across multiple PCs in one step
  • Support for only Windows 7, Windows Vista with SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, and Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard and later

Q: When will I have to upgrade to the new Sync?

A: We will provide more details regarding the transition to the new Windows Live Sync in the coming months.

Q: Can I still sync my Mac with my PC using Windows Live Sync?

A: Yes. Windows Live Sync supports Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard and later.

Q: Can I run the new Sync beta on the same computer and at the same time as Live Mesh beta or the previous version of Sync?

A: Please click here for more information.

Q: I’m using Windows Live Toolbar to keep my Internet Explorer favorites in sync across my PCs. Will Sync beta change this?

A: As part of the overall upgrade to Windows Live Essentials, we’re replacing Windows Live Toolbar with Bing Bar. Bing Bar offers many improvements while retaining easy access to Hotmail and other services. However, Bing Bar doesn’t offer the ability to sync favorites in Internet Explorer. Instead, you can use Sync beta to sync Internet Explorer settings like favorites across PCs.

If you currently use Windows Live Toolbar on a computer running Windows XP, you won’t be able to use the new version of Sync since it isn’t available for Windows XP. Any favorites you have synced to SkyDrive using Windows Live Toolbar will still be available on SkyDrive (http://skydrive.live.com).

Q: Why can’t I use all 25 GB of my SkyDrive storage for synced folders?

A: Synced folders on SkyDrive work differently than the rest of your SkyDrive. Learn more about the differences between Sync and SkyDrive

Q: Will I be able to purchase additional online storage for the new Sync?

A: While we expect that most customers will be satisfied with the amount of free online storage for synced folders, we understand you might be interested in more space. This is something we would consider for a future release.

This post originated from and is provided by the MSDN Blogs RSS feed. The original post of the article can be found here.

We’re not sure why the post was pulled, maybe it was just because the order of the questions was a little mixed up.  Anyway, it was/is a very handy and informative FAQ, and we don’t want it to get lost in the ether.